I spend a lot of time on personal development and making sure I live every element of my life to the max. This goes for fitness (obviously!), business, and doing things I never though I would do.
Admittedly at times, certain elements take over (because I get obsessive about things in the interests of perfection!) but all with the overall goal of enabling me to live the life I want sooner rather than later.
A life free from the constraints of modern, hectic lives filled with little but money concerns, stress, lower back pain, rising fuel prices and a constant pining for Friday evening, only to feel rock-bottom when the alarm pipes up on Monday morning.
I constantly read and implement new ways to improve myself so I guess by tomorrow this article will be somewhat outdated. However, the underlying principles of these 10 lifestyle rules will literally change your life if you choose to implement them and stick to your guns under even the most intense scrutiny and pressure.
1) Witness the choices you make in every moment
Think about every action you take. Will it be a positive action and carry you closer to your goals or will it only have negative effects on you and those around you. Sometimes things won’t go your way and you’ll want to lash out to make you feel better or munch on a big cream cake but try to look past the immediate ‘benefits’.
Firstly, these benefits tend to be of very little value and secondly the long-term fall-out of action too much on impulse can be very damaging to long-term plans or targets
2) Accept people and situations as they occur
Don’t worry about what just happened. It’s not going to change, hindsight is pointless, and the chances are you will simply stress yourself out and make the situation and the immediate future even worse.
I’m a firm believer in “what’s meant to be, will be”.
Try to look at whatever crappy thing just happened to you in the grander scheme of things. If you get injured, don’t focus on all the things it means you can’t do now. Instead, focus on how you can train around the injury so when you’re ‘fixed’ you’re in a much better position to crack on with your long-term goals.
As I write this I am, 90% recovered from a partial shoulder dislocation following a biking accident. When it first happened m mind was spinning thinking about how it would affect m job as a trainer, how my own training regime would be ruined and how it meant I couldn’t perform the charity session I had planned.
Once the intense pain had numbed and my rational brain was thinking again, I realised that despite my dislike for long, steady runs, I could do that in order to better prepare for the running section of the Tough Guy event I have entered, which was now around 5 weeks away.
Keep your eyes on the bigger prize and accept things as they are. So long as you live by all the other lifestyle rules, your life will move in the direction you want it to. This is a hard rule to live by especially as you may experience a string of bad things (they always happen together), but if you stay strong you will soon hit another purple patch.
Learn from bad experiences rather than bitching and moaning about them and you will experience great personal development.
3) Take responsibility for your situation and the solution
At first glance, this lifestyle rule may appear to contradict the one above.
However, accepting people and situations as in Rule 2 does not mean you should just never put your mind to anything or try to achieve anything due to a belief that cosmic ordering or some other force will just guide you in the right direction.
You need to take responsibility and guide your life in the direction you want it to go. Unless you have some evil, sadistic goals which will harm a lot of people along the way, you will find that constantly working towards your goals and being proactive in making things happen will have profound effects on where you are in 1, 2, 5 or 10 years.
Taking responsibility means not blaming others when things go wrong. If you’re not losing weight, it’s your fault and it’s your responsibility to find the solution.
If anything in your life is depressing you or making you unhappy, you have to get a grip of yourself and figure out how you are going to get from where you are now, to where you want to be. Again this goes back to our old favourite ‘goal setting’ as discussed in Fat Loss Action Blueprint .
If you don’t like your job, don’t blame your boss. You took the job and it’s your decision whether you’re going to keep sitting at that desk or get up off your lazy backside and find a better one. This may require jumping out of your comfort zone whilst you find a new job and settle in but it’s up to YOU whether you value the end result more than being comfortable but unhappy as you are now!
Your friends DIDN’T make you have that bottle of wine and you DIDN’T need to have a cake because everyone else in the office did. Everything that happens in your life is your responsibility. Yes, unfortunate events / accidents will happen but it is then your responsibility to determine how positive your reaction will be.
The flip-side to this is that you should not feel guilty in feeling proud. When you set yourself tough, life-changing goals, you’re in for a tough, life-changing time. That’s the only way it can be.
Consequently, you should take responsibility for your successes. Don’t palm off compliments as if you got lucky. You worked hard, damned hard and you’re reaping the rewards. Enjoy it.
Take responsibility for your successes and mistakes and you will move forward at dizzying pace!
4) Make a list of all your desires
This one does what it says on the tin.
Make a list of your desires then set about telling everyone (only if you’re comfortable doing so), researching how to achieve them and using every minute of everyday to move towards them.
What can go on your list is infinite. My personal goals are likely to mean very little to you and vice-versa. This is not wrong but positively right! They must be your desires. If all your peers drive Porsches, this does not mean it should be on your list of desires. If you really do want a Porshce then go ahead and list it.
However, think carefully as to whether you would actually rather save £20,000 pounds buy getting cheaper car, giving you the opportunity and loose change to set up your own internet site which may enable you to leave your mind-numbing office-job and go travelling to experience all the countries and cultures you read, and consequently dream about.
This list may stay the same for the next 50 years until everything is crossed off or it may be a constantly evolving piece of mental artwork which continually challenges you mentally and physically and guides you on all sorts of paths to personal achievement.
It’s your list of desires – do you as you will.
5) Factor in uncertainty as a necessary part of life
Many of us like our comfort zone.
We like the fact that the dog’s always at the door when we get home. We like knowing exactly how much will be in the pay packet each month. We like going out at the same time, with the same people, to the same pub every Friday.
The rest of us want something more.
We want excitement, we want challenges, we want the adrenaline rush of never knowing what’s coming next.
If you try to control every single element of your life you will a) fail and b) become very boring and paranoid.
Don’t get me wrong – planning is the cornerstone of any great achievement whether it be in business, on the sports field or renovating your new house. However, no matter how hard you try to be in control, ‘sh*t happens’.
Pardon my direct nature and crude language but no phrase sums it up better. People will act in unexplainable ways, the weather will ruin your great day out and sometimes you won’t lose weight on a particular week and you won’t know why.
You have the choice of either getting upset by it (remember how hindsight is pointless) or deciding how best to move on and deal with it so your long-term goals aren’t affected.
In fact, the best plans make room for the inevitable cock-ups, mistakes and unexplainable crap.
It will happen sooner or later. Deal with it!
6) Believe what no-one else does
This is not a religious quip but one of mental strength.
The more ambitious you are in business, fitness and life in general, the more people will doubt you. It is nearly always those who have never achieved anything worth mentioning and probably never will. They find it easier to try to drag you back to their level than to allow you to drag their sorry into your new found bubble of success.
The greatest inventions or ideas were at one time, ridiculous. If the person responsible for that stupid idea had listened to those around them, many of the great things which have revolutionised the face of the planet would never have been seen.
Unfortunately, the average person in modern Western society is fat, mentally weak, unambitious and lives for the weekend like the rest of the sheep. If you’re reading this as a member of Storm Force Fitness, you’re better than that. You’ve already taken your first steps to your best body ever.
The concept behind Storm Force Fitness will never be complete as it will continue to evolve and improve as you should. Whether you come along for the ride is entirely your choice. It will be a horrible, challenging ride at times but the results are what you want and results you will get if you hold on tight and believe when no-one else does.
If I had listened to the people who questioned my first steps into the fitness game when I took on a £5.77 per hour gym job I would probably be sitting in a bank back in Guernsey working over time to pay off my new Porsche which I never really wanted. And I would never have helped some any people shed body fat with Fat Loss Action Blueprint .
7) Don’t always look for the path to follow
If you’ve ever been out walking in a forest or some random fields somewhere in the country you’ll have seen the paths already trodden by those who have gone before you.
Similar to believing when no-one else does, you should look to tread new paths whenever you can.
Don’t always rely on what has been done before for the answer to your problem. Don’t believe everything you read and don’t listen to everything you hear, unless it comes from very well qualified sources and most importantly you have tried it and proved it works. Sometimes trial and error is the best way forward!
We are all built differently, think differently and want different things from life. Decide where you want to end up and then tread the fastest, most exciting path to get there.
By all means learn from others but if you just copy others, it will either not work for you or worse, the result won’t be anything like you had hoped because someone has already been there and done that!
Tread your own path – it’s far more exciting and rewarding!
8) Realise that most of the people you cross won’t understand the difference between obsession and dedication
Try telling your friends that you’re doing well over in England but you’re currently working about 80 hours per week building your personal training business and spending most of your life savings creating a website to provide everything anyone could need for permanent fat loss and attempts to go against the grain and cut through a lot of the crap read in popular magazines!
You’ll hear things like…
“Don’t burn yourself out”
“Make sure you think carefully before doing that”
“Don’t get carried away”
“Aren’t you going a bit far?”
Only when you have an unfaltering belief in what you do and what you stand for, and you truly believe immense benefits can be gained by yourself and all those who work with you, you will understand the difference between obsession and dedication. Many of your friends and family won’t but quite frankly, who cares?
9) Thinking will only get you so far
I guess this relates quite closely to the point made earlier about being paranoid unless you know exactly how every minute of your life will pan out.
You can think all you like and plan all you like but whatever your thinking about will never happen unless you act.
Goal-setting, planning, debating, re-thinking, starting over, re-evaluating….
Where does it end?
All of the above are necessary for long-term progression but at some point you need to draw a line under your complicated drawings and tables and take the dream into the real world by acting.
I figure if I look back on my death bed and can say any of the following phrases, then I’ve missed out on something…
“I was going to say that”
“I thought about that but thought it might not work”
“I was going to, but…”
Maybe I was or I did. But I didn’t. Someone else did.
Learn to take action once your plan is solid enough – don’t wait for perfection because it will never happen. If it goes wrong remember one thing…
“Never regret the things you did. At one point it was exactly what you wanted.”
10) Be better today than you were yesterday
Much to my disappointment, when I reached the age of about 22 I realised that I can’t be the best at everything despite valiantly trying in everything I did as I grew up.
Instead I now have an even more powerful belief that I can always, always, without fail, be better today than I was yesterday. This can have infinite meanings. You might lift more weight, have lower body fat, make progress with your business, be more patient with family and friends when they annoy or frustrate you etc etc.
It can be physical or mental but either way it will set you up for better results in whatever you are currently focussed on.
Whatever it means, find a way to be better today.
Sometimes this will be a giant leap which changes the direction of your life for the better. Other times, no one will notice except you. This doesn’t matter so long as you make positive steps along the newly trodden path you have created every single day without fail.